Everything Nigel Adkins needs on his summer shopping list at Hull

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nigel adkins

By Joe Plunkett

Hull City’s late surge under Nigel Adkins saw the Tigers finish up in the 18th spot after an incredibly difficult return to the Championship. Despite signing 12 first team players last summer, Leonid Slutsky’s reign in Yorkshire lasted only until early December with the club down in 20th position.

The Tigers had been expected to at least mount a challenge for a top six spot, however their future in the second tier became under serious threat. Results weren’t instant, but former Saints boss Adkins pulled off outstanding results against Norwich, Ipswich, Aston Villa, Wolves, QPR, Burton and Bristol City to preserve their status.

Where do Hull go from here though? Former club record signing Abel Hernandez, who ended 2017/18 in outstanding form, looks set to leave the club on a free transfer. Captain Michael Dawson is likely to allow his contract to expire, Allan McGregor has jumped ship to Rangers, Seb Larsson, Moses Odubajo and Max Clark are uncertain on extending their deals and wildly successful loan stars Harry Wilson, Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori are all set to return to their parent clubs.

While the club has moved on from David Meyler and Adama Diomande, both of whom were on the fringes and possessing no future, the likes of Evandro and David Marshall are still on the books and unlikely to budge easily.

summer transfer window

A great deal of the Tigers business is going to depend on outgoings. Recouping huge salaries will allow for more freedom to deal, while re-signing starters like Max Clark and Seb Larsson and moving to bring back key men like Michael Hector and Harry Wilson would be enormous.

Hull’s biggest issues last season occurred in defense. Experienced stopper Allan McGregor has exited, leaving David Marshall, Callum Burton and Will Mannion to compete for the jersey. Marshall has been woeful since joining from Cardiff in 2016 and it’s tough to see him being given the chance. If Adkins can’t trust the two youngsters, the Tigers may need to find a new number one.

Allowing aging captain Michael Dawson to exit may not be the worst thing to allow to happen, but it only leaves Angus MacDonald and Ondrej Mazuch in central defense. At least one centre back will need to be recruited permanently, while two would be sensible if Dawson departed.

It’s a scary thought that Aina, Odubajo and Clark could all be gone, though talks to keep right-back Odubajo seem positive; he can be a roaring success again if his rehabilitation goes well. Left-back Stephen Kingsley remains at the club to step in for Clark but may need upgrading upon if last season’s displays are anything to go off of.

In central midfield, Markus Henriksen has stepped up under Adkins, while Jackson Irvine, Kevin Stewart and youngster Daniel Batty offer reasonable options. Ideally, Seb Larsson will remain to keep an expansive range of central choices with the ability to shuffle the pack. If Irvine or Henriksen are considered in a more advanced role, another possession minded midfielder could be of interest.

Going forward, Jarrod Bowen can be crucial once more, especially if Abel Hernandez and Harry Wilson are gone. Jon Toral and Kamil Grosicki should remain, but another attacking midfielder could make a world of difference with rotation and fluidity in mind.

The bigger issue is a consistent striker. Fraizer Campbell, Nouha Dicko and Will Keane combined for 11 of Hull’s 70 goals last season and it’s a big worry to rely on one of those permanently as a starter. Only Cardiff had no out-and-out striker hit double figures in the top half last season, highlighting the importance of having a go-to finisher leading the line.

Essentially, subject to movements, the Tigers appear in need of 6-7 incomings at the very least to convince Top 100 Bookmakers they can improve upon last season.

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